I am beginning to wonder just how far the Trump administration and Mr. Trump himself will be able to successfully use projection as their primary means of deflection of their own corruptions. I must say, that to date, the organization led by Trump himself, has demonstrated a remarkable proclivity for saddling his opposition with exactly the epithet that people were starting to use on him.
Every time the Trump campaign was in trouble, the candidate that was surging or the commentator who was becoming annoying to the campaign was miraculously assigned an epithet that Mr. Trump was remarkably consistent in maintaining that sobriquet throughout. Whether it was calling Megan Kelly, "Crazy Megan" or Chuck Todd, "Sleepy Eyes" Chuck for asking difficult questions, or calling Mayor Michael Nutter, "Low Life Michael" when supposedly courting Black American votes, Mr. Trump appeared to be psychologically unable to stop himself from demeaning those who attacked him. Even among non-opponents, the nicknames took on a certain amount of projection. All one has to do is remember the tirade that included the appellation of "Crazy Megan". This was after Megan Kelly moderated a debate among Republican candidates and dared to ask questions about women's issues. After the debate, Mr. Trump rambled about blood coming out of her mouth, and out of every other orifice when she asked the questions. Even the most dedicated of Trump supporters thought that in that particular instance the Trump position was much crazier than Ms. Kelly ever was.
Candidates and their surrogates were even more in the cross-hairs of Mr. Trumps sticky barbs. "Little" Mario Rubio, "Lyin" Ted Cruz, "Low Energy" Jeb Bush, "Crazy" Bernie Sanders, "Goofy" Elizabeth Warren, "Dopey" Karl Rove, "Washed Up" George Will, and, of course, "Crooked" Hillary Clinton can all attest to how well the Trump strategy worked.
People generally thought that these twitter names were just humorous eccentricities on the part of a candidate who is different from previous nominees. Many people thought these names provided a humorous aside to an extremely nasty campaign. They were wrong. Placing negative appellations on your opponents has been a long used and successfully implemented campaign strategy in American politics. Many politicians have placed unfavorable nicknames on their opponents to frighten the electorate. The difference has always been that once the politician is elected, the new politician-elect mends fences and moves on to the business of governance. There is a real question as to whether this is going to be the case with our tweeting president-elect.
There has not been a press conference since the election. Mr. Trump's public face and public comments have been extremely limited and it does appear that this is going to be the new normal for the Trump White House. The one constant has been that the Trump twitter-verse has been overactive. Our thin-skinned president-elect reacts to everything with a tweet. Of late he is in tweeting wars with the world on Israeli settlements and another with President Obama on whether or not the President would have beaten the President-Elect if Obama was able to run for a third term. Nice theoretical, but hardly the stuff that great presidencies are built upon.
It does seem that Mr. Trump sees Twitter as the 21st century equivalent to the fireside chat. You can say whatever you want without any filters and can choose not to respond to any twitter response that you don't like. It also keeps you insulated from answering the difficult question or explaining a controversial policy. It is a method that can be understood by the less educated and the less mature. It offers no nuance. It is a recipe for disastrous politics. Mr. Trump is earning his own sobriquet. It should be one that sticks. Welcome to the White House "Tweety Bird" Donald.